Russell Ellwanger

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Russell Ellwanger is a business executive who became CEO with Tower Semiconductor Ltd. in 2005. According to Globes online, “the company had a $550 million debt in 2005 and its annual revenue was $100 million. Now a much larger company, it enjoys consistent double-digit growth, a negligible debt, and its 2016 revenue will probably reach $1.4 billion.”[1]

From 1998 to 2005 Ellwanger served within Applied Materials, Inc., as group vice president, general manager of the Applied Global Services, and group vice president and general manager of the CMP and Electroplating Business Group. From 2000 to 2002 he worked in Israel as the corporate vice president and general manager of the Metrology and Inspection Business Group. From 1998 to 2000 he was vice president of Applied Materials’ 300-mm Program Office.

Ellwanger also served as general manager of Applied Materials’ Metal CVD Division from 1997 to 1998, and from 1996 to 1997, he served as managing director of CVD Business Development and was based in Singapore.

From 1992 to 1996, he held various managerial positions at Novellus Systems, Inc., and from 1980 to 1992, he was with Philips Semiconductors.

Ellwanger was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a 19-year-old university student. One of his wrestling teammates during his teen years was a Latter-day Saint and Ellwanger and his teammate became close friends. After his baptism and studying for a year, he served a mission to Germany where he met his future wife, Margret. After his mission concluded, he began writing to her, even proposing marriage. “She was doing an advanced degree in physics. He went to hear several of her lectures, and decided that he would also study physics. A year later, they got married in the Mormon temple in St. George, Utah. They both went to study at Brigham Young University: she continued her studies, and he began his.”[2]

While studying for a degree, he was hired by Philips Semiconductors, a Dutch company, as an engineer. The company sent him to the Netherlands, and he and his wife and children lived in a 450-year-old farmhouse. He later worked in Japan, New Mexico, and France on other projects.